e-book The Physicists World: The Story of Motion and the Limits to Knowledge

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In the book, Newton laid out and explained the three fundamental laws of classical mechanics:.

Another year in the books...

These may sound a little abstract, but when you think about it, these laws of mechanics are clear from everyday life. On a flat surface, a ball will remain still unless someone kicks it, or the wind blows it. On a hill, gravity acts upon it and pulls it downhill. The mass of the object makes a difference in the force.

We may hit the wall hard, but the wall exerts an equal and opposite force in return. What is light? Electromagnetism refers to the forces generated by the electrons that are found in certain types of matter throughout the universe. The force carried by an electromagnetic field is carried by photons, which are particles that sometimes act like waves or waves that sometimes act like particles. Confusing, I know.

History of physics - Wikipedia

The basic thing to understand is that electromagnetic radiation makes up much of our everyday lives. Visible light itself is a form of electromagnetic radiation. Other types of electromagnetic radiation are x rays, radio waves, and so on. General relativity is a basic concept in physics that is often described using the analogy of a moving vehicle.

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You throw a ball directly upwards. Relativity helps to explain the fact that there are two different perspectives on what happens to the ball. From your perspective, inside the car, you have applied one upward force to the ball. From the perspective of someone outside the car who is standing still, the ball was already traveling 60 mph inside the car when the second force was applied.

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General relativity was expanded in the early s when Albert Einstein created special relativity. The light source is nearby, stationary. You measure the speed of light as million miles per hour. Then you conduct two further experiments. In the first, the light source is now being propelled away from you at a speed of million miles per hour.

Physics: Ch 2A - Test Your Knowledge: Motion in 1-D (2 of 10) The VERY Challenging Bird Problem: 2/4

In the second, the light source is moving towards you at the same speed. Each time you measure the speed of the light, however, the number is the same: million miles per hour. What does this mean? Well, for one, it stretches time: the faster you move, the slower time goes. Yes, this is as crazy as it sounds. The study of thermodynamics revolves around the relationship between heat, energy, and mechanical work.

Thermodynamics revolves around 4 laws that for whatever odd reason are numbered zero through three. The laws emerge from a basic interpretation of heat as movement. This vibration carries energy which is transferred to our skin, making us feel warm. We hope you enjoyed this look into physics.

Physics’s pangolin

We know one thing: this just stimulates our thirst for more learning. Through a multi-year project involving hundreds of students, teachers, professors, and experts from different fields, Brainscape has compiled a critical base set of knowledge across a huge range of subjects. Join the millions of students, teachers, language learners, test-takers, and corporate trainees who are doubling their learning results. Visit brainscape. Kenn Lim 3 years ago. Shadowhunter 3 years ago. Nice writeup. However, your explanation of relativity is slightly incorrect. What you've described is, in fact, special relativity.

Einstein came up with it in one of his 4 annus mirabilis papers in But they even Peter Higgs himself! That would have given them the opportunity to learn new things —to expand the island of knowledge. Perhaps there is more to gravity than Einstein knew.

His argument was that the foundations of science, such as the Big Bang theory, the structure of DNA and evolution by natural selection, were well established and not going to be changed, except in detail, by new discoveries. But that has not stopped people repeating essentially the same argument as Horgan in the present century.

Until we know what consciousness is, how can we claim to understand biology? There is some doubt about the attribution, but no doubt that just after this was allegedly said at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science physics was shaken by not one but two revolutionary developments —quantum physics and relativity theory.

Given that we can only accrue scientific knowledge from measurements of natural processes, it is by definition impossible to be certain that we know all the forces of Nature or the fundamental particles that exist; at any point in time, new technological tools may reveal the new and unexpected and thus force a revision of our current knowledge.

Astronomers of today will tell you, with great confidence, that the Universe as we know it was born Time itself began at the moment the Universe was born. When I was a student I was told that it was meaningless to ask what happened before the time when the entire Universe had the density of an atomic nucleus —the time of the Big Bang. But now cosmologists also talk confidently about the inflation that preceded the Big Bang, earlier than one ten-thousandth of a second after the birth of the Universe from something like a singularity, a point in spacetime.

Inflation theory has recently received a great boost from the apparent discovery of gravitational ripples produced in this process although I should caution that these results have not yet been independently confirmed. According to the equations, this inflating spacetime would be just one bubble in an infinitely large and eternal metaverse, with no beginning and no end.

Within this metaverse, the story goes, there are regions which form inflating bubbles. Our Universe is such a bubble, and the implication is that there are other universes, other bubbles far away across the inflating sea, like the bubbles that form in the liquid when a bottle of champagne is opened. This seemingly speculative idea counts as a genuine scientific hypothesis, because it makes testable predictions. The Planck satellite is testing this prediction right now. Is the metaverse real? One way or the other, this will not bring an end to the cosmological quest, which itself is just one aspect of the scientific quest.

This is, to my mind, an upbeat conclusion. The quest goes on, always presenting us with new things to wonder about, and to wonder at. Without that sense of wonder, as this excellent book makes clear, there would be no point in doing science at all. View 2 comments. Jul 01, Jafar rated it it was ok. As a result, he spends two thirds of the book giving you an overview of cosmology and quantum mechanics.

Nothing new that can't be found in any other pop physics books. Of course there's a limit to what we can observe and measure, as physics itself tells us. However, this doesn't mean that the fundamental laws of the universe are unknowable. This is Gleiser's main claim, and even though I agree with him that it's naive and arrogant of us to think that we can understand the nature of reality and the laws governing it, he doesn't offer anything as a proof. He presents an interesting analogy of knowledge being an island in the ocean of unknowns.


The bigger the island gets, the more it comes in contact with the surrounding ocean. Nice analogy, but not more than that. Oct 06, Michael rated it liked it Shelves: nonfiction-read. Although not enthralled with Gleiser as a writer, I did enjoy thinking about some of the questions he raised in regard to the limits of what we can know about the universe and about ourselves. His book inspired me to reread Max Weber's excellent essay, "Wissenschaft als Beruf" "Science as Profession" , a lecture given in Munich in and published in the following year in which Weber considers the role of science in the modern world.

Including relevant excerpts from Weber's essay would have Although not enthralled with Gleiser as a writer, I did enjoy thinking about some of the questions he raised in regard to the limits of what we can know about the universe and about ourselves. Including relevant excerpts from Weber's essay would have been a nice addition to Gleiser's book. Er braucht auch nichts davon zu wissen. Die zunehmende Intellektualisierung und Rationalisierung bedeutet also nicht eine zunehmende allgemeine Kenntnis der Lebensbedingungen, unter denen man steht.

Das aber bedeutet: die Entzauberung der Welt. Sondern technische Mittel und Berechnung leisten das.

The great revolutions of the Twentieth Century

Dies vor allem bedeutet die Intellektualisierung als solche. For Weber, the disenchantment Entzauberung and intellectualization of the world consists not in everyone knowing how things work but rather in the belief that there are rational answers and that through study anyone can have access thereto. Gleiser suggests the possibility even the probability that this is not the case.

There may be limits to our ability to know both technical and biological.

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He does, however, agree with Weber that the provision of meaning is not the purpose of science. For that we must look within ourselves. View 1 comment. Aug 04, Peter Mcloughlin rated it really liked it Shelves: to , energy , nature , to , physics , world-history , to , american-history , astronomy , bce-toce. Very readable and interesting book on the history and philosophy of science and the limits of knowledge. I liked the sections on Astronomy and Cosmology and the history of science.